BAY AREA, The Palace of Fine Arts
By Emerian Rich
Walking under the grand arches of the Palace of Fine Arts is so breathtaking, I find it hard to compare it to anything in the Bay Area. Sure maybe if you visited the Pyramids of Giza or the Pantheon in Rome, you would feel the same inspiring experience, but this is in our own backyard.
For those of you unaware of the palace’s history, it was constructed in 1915 for the Panama Pacific Exposition. Its purpose was to exhibit art and was to be torn down directly after the event. As one of the only surviving structures of the fair, it’s amazing to note it’s still in the same spot as originally built. Designed by Bernard Maybeck, an arts and crafts movement architect and instructor at UC Berkeley, the structure was inspired by Roman and Greek architecture. While most of the exhibition structures were torn down or relocated after the event, the palace had a friend in Pheobe Apperson Hearst (Mother of William Randolph Hearst). Phoebe, always the activist, founded the Palace Preservation League even while the exhibition was still running. However, while Phoebe had saved the structure, it wasn’t stable…continue reading.